Friday Conference Update

Today was the last day of the conference. First… Yeah! I’m no longer conference chair… just plain ‘ol Tutorial Chair again. As parting gifts, I got a lovely silver “Klingon” Navajo letter opener/dagger and a nice pocket watch antique chain.

The last day went well. Due to packing up the office, I didn’t get to any sessions, but at least we got rid of all the leftover merch from past conferences. The office packed up easily.

Then I went on the tour. AMARC was interesting, and not what I expected. I expected a commercial graveyard, ala Mojave. Nope. Loads and loads of military aircraft, mothballed, some for parts, some for reuse, some for destruction. Only a few civilian aircraft. Still, I picked up a book on the place. The Pima Museum was also interesting, but again, few civilian aircraft. Still, I had a good time.

Tonight, I’m going to dinner with some conference folks, and gf_guruilla and S&F have gone up to the observatory at Kitt Peak. Tomorrow, we see my sister-in-law, visit the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum (a neat place), and start on our way home… via Ehrenberg AZ. I might post tomorrow morning, but as there is no high-speed at that hotel, won’t post again until Sunday evening at the earliest.


Thursday Conference Update

Today was a good conference day. We started with an opening plenary session with Rebecca Mercuri, who spoke on the importance of transparancy in systems, and how it releated to electronic voting. This was followed by the classic papers sessions, where we got to revisit the history of the Orange Book, as well as the vulnerabilities in TCP/IP. The afternoon (for me) was more administrative: a conference board meeting, and a meeting with some people from the DoD with whom I work.

This evening was the conference dinner, which was excellent! Yummy. We got to give away a bunch of books, including a copy of a book on .NET Security to Steve Bellovin, one of the key authors of Unix! Sometimes, God has a sense of irony.

Tomorrow is the last day of the conference. We’ll have the final sessions, pack up. Then there will be the conference event: A trip to the Pima Air Museum and the Airplane Graveyard. Cool, for a transit-geek like me!


Wednesday Conference Update

[First and foremost, happy birthday to ellipticcurve. C’mon, you know the words. Sing with me: “Put another candle on your birthday cake, we’re gonna bake a birthday cake. Put another candle on your birthday cake, you’re another year old today. We’re gonna have a party with your birthday cake, come on and take some birthday cake. Put another candle on your birthday cake, you’re another year old today. We’ll have some pie and sandwiches, and chocolate ice cream too. We’ll sing and play the day away, but one more thing we’re gonna do. You’ll blow out the candles on your birthday cake, and when you do, a wish you’ll make. Put another candle on your birthday cake, you’re another year old today. Happy birthday to you, you’re another year old today.” No, I didn’t embarrass her by having the entire conference sing “Happy Birthday” to her during the open plenary session (but I did think of it). I did, however, have everyone at the Chanukah party sing to her!]

I’m tired. It’s been a long day. We started out with me up on the podium, introducing everyone and thanking everyone for coming. As usual, the demographics were interesting, with a large number of first timers. Our opening plenary speaker was Steve Lipner of Microsoft, who spoke about the process they follow to engineering security into new products, such as Server 2003. It was very interesting, especially if they indeed follow it. The sessions were… sessions: some good papers, some soperific papers. Folks: If you have to present a paper at a conference, learn how to give a good talk! We also had a wonderful debate about the efficacy of evaluation standards with system acquisitions.

This evening, we hosted a small Chanukah party for those who wanted to attend. It was lots of fun, with three Chanukiyot, lots of gelt, sufganiyot, and latkes. We went out for Chinese afterwards: traditional Jewish food!

I’m now off to make reservations for the drive back Saturday, and then it is off to bed. Tomorrow, we have Rebecca Mercuri, an expert on electronic voting, speaking, as well as our Classic Papers session!


Tuesday Conference Update

The second day of the conference has been going well. The tutorials were all well received, as was the workshop. We even had the press show up, in the form of a reporter and a cameraman from KOLD, the CBS affiliate. We told them to come back tomorrow to see Steve Lipner of Microsoft, or Thursday to hear Rebecca Mercuri. It appears they will. We did give them some excellent parting gifts, including a conference program, proceedings, and an ACySACy. This is the first year we’ve had a member of the media show up!

Tomorrow the primary conference starts. I get to give my plenary talk and introduce the speakers. No fair calling my cell phone just as I make the announcement to turn off your cell phones! I also get to listen to the best paper candidates.

S&F helped at registration this morning, and then went off with gf_guruilla, Dee (a past conference chair), and Ruth (the wife of a tutorial instructor) to hit the quilt shops. Yes, my wife did bring her new sewing machine to Tucson! This evening is the speakers reception, and then my family and a bunch of coworkers are going somewhere for dinner.

One sad observation on the news. CNN is reporting that Mary Travers of Peter, Paul, and Mary has leukemia. They indicated it is under treatment and she is expected to fully recover. This is good news, and I hope she heals quickly. I do have to say that CNN picked one of the worst pictures I’ve ever seen of Mary to post.


Saga of Wireless Access

Update on what I wrote last night about wireless access. As I noted before, this hotel (Hilton El Conquistador, Tucson, AZ) has only wireless access in hotel rooms. Well, my laptop doesn’t have a wireless card. However, they do have a wireless kit, which consists of a bridge device (in comes the wireless, out goes the RJ45). So, I get the kit. The bridge has three lights: Power, ACT, and LINK.

Here’s the problem. When the computer starts booting, all three lights are on (yes, it is plugging into the laptops RJ45). Through the “Starting Windows”, all three stay one. Half-way through booting Windows 2000, the LINK light goes out, and the computer can’t see the network.

Does anyone have some ideas, so I don’t have to spend my evenings in the business center?


Tutorial Monday

So far, the conference is going well. We’re halfway through the first day of tutorials. Attendance is down from last year, but talking to our registration person, this seems to be a common trend among conferences. No major snafus yet (such as two years ago where I was deathly sick the first two days), and S&F has really grown up and is doing a reasonably good job helping at registration. She’s now with mom, and they are going to go off to a museum. Later in the week, it is Kitt Peak Observatory for them.

Me, I’m just making sure things are running smoothly, and solving the life and death issues of whether someone gets something when they didn’t pay for it, or that the hotel doesn’t charge too much (and they do try). Content is going well.

I’ll play some with the wireless setup this evening. The hotel saved themselves the trouble of hardwiring  by putting wireless transcievers on the roofs of the rooms. Thus, I need a bridge that converts wireless to wired, as I don’t have a wireless card. They also appear to have two LANs, one for the guest rooms, and one for the meeting rooms. Naturally, there are distinct charges for each. The fancier the hotel, the more the number of distinct charges!

Other than that, not much is happening. The drive out was interesting; it is always neat so see the older highway that has been bypassed. In this case, it was the bypass of US 80 by I-8. We may return a day sooner, so that we can overnight in Blythe.


I’m in Tucson

This is just a short note to let folks know that we arrived in Tucson. The drive was long (we left Palm Springs this morning around 9:30AM, pulled in around 6:00PM). We took CA 111 to CA 86 to CA 111 to I-8 to I-10.

Right now, I’m in the hotel’s business center, because they only have highspeed wireLESS, and my computer doesn’t have a wireLESS card. I tried their adapter, but I couldn’t get it to work. I’ll try again on Monday, but for now, I just wanted to clean out my email (78 in my main mailbox, around 215 in my spam box, in just two days).

I’m glad there was such a great response to the movie quote meme. Yes, I do love the Great Race. Other movies I quoted included “Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”, “Harvey”, “Dr. Strangelove”, and “Willie Wonka”.

Well, off to bed. The conference starts tomorrow, but now that I know I can do stuff from the business center, I’ll check in sometime during the day.